THE owner of West Somerset's Tropiquaria Zoo says he is 'cautiously optimistic' as it appears zoos will be allowed to re-open from June 15.

A briefing from Downing Street states that in his update today (Wednesday, June 10) the Prime Minister Boris Johnson will say zoos, safari parks and drive-in cinemas can reopen in England from June 15.

The news has been initially welcomed by the owner of Tropiquaria Zoo near Watchet Chris Moiser, but he says more details are needed.

"I am cautiously optimistic and it is certainly a step in the right direction," Mr Moiser said.

"However we await the full announcement and regulations to see how we can make them work here."

Mr Moiser said for example while there was an indication that amenities such as cafes are takeaway only - but as it stands it is not clear how outside seating might work.

It has also been indicated that zoos must not re-open indoor exhibitions such as reptile houses or aquariums.

"With Butlins and the caravan parks not open yet, we will also have to consider the economic viability of re-opening at this stage," Mr Moiser said.

"For example we may not open seven days a week as usual to begin with."

You can get further updates on Tropiquaria by visiting the Tropiquaria Zoo Facebook page.

"Our staff are more familiar with hygiene measures than many others and the large amount of outdoor space here means social distancing is manageable, especially with limited numbers," Mr Moiser said.

Mr Moiser has been backed by West Somerset's MP Ian Liddell-Grainger, who says a visit to the zoo or wildlife park could provide an 'invaluable break from the rigours of lockdown' for thousands of families.

Tropiquaria has received great support from the local community during its hour of need in lockdown.

More than £7,000 has been donated via an appeal to help the zoo look after the animals, with further money raised via a member of staff 's upcoming relay challenge, and a young season ticket holder's sponsored walk.

Mr Moiser also said there had been fantastic donations of food from the local Co-ops and Morrisons, as well as many private donations.